“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged.  For you will be treated as you treat others.  The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.”  (Matthew 7:1-2)

“And why worry about the speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own eye? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye?  Hypocrites! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.”  (Matthew 7:3-5)

“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves.  You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act.  Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?  A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit.  So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire.  Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.”  (Matthew 7:15-20)

“Preach the word of God.  Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not.  Patiently correct, rebuke and encourage your people with good teaching. For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching.  They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.  They will reject the truth and chase after myths.” (2 Timothy 4:2-4)

To judge: 1) to form an opinion (about something or someone) after careful thought. 2) To determine or pronounce after inquiry and deliberation

To discern: 1) to detect; to recognize and identify as separate and distinct. 2) to see or understand the difference.

It may come as a surprise to those growing up in the current generation that the definition of the verb “judge” is not “to finger point and reject others who are not like you as outcasts.”  In our politically correct world, Jesus’ command not to judge others has been cleverly twisted so that it would seem that He has commanded us to accept everything or turn a blind eye to what’s clearly wrong.

In reality, accepting everything and turning a blind eye to wrong doing and evil is one of the satanic commandments, which state “All is permitted; do what you want.”  This is a formula for chaos, not Godly orderly structure.

So when Jesus said “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged,” what did he mean?  When we read his statement in its proper context, are we looking at fellow sinners (and we are all sinners) with the intent of shining a spotlight on their sin and calling them out over it, even “helpfully”?  Do we openly condemn sin in others that we are also guilty of in our own private lives?  Jesus hated that behavior and regularly condemned the self-righteous Pharisees for it.  He commands us to be careful not to act like the Pharisees, that is, to not be hypocrites.

That said, we are to judge; we are to form an opinion after careful consideration and deliberation, using the Word of God as our standard.  How we approach others once the judgment has been established is something to consider with fear and trembling, for as Jesus says, “The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.”

Judging goes hand in hand with discerning.  After all, how can we discern and identify something as distinct and different if there is not first a clear distinction set for us?  How do we discern and judge right from wrong, good from evil if the difference between these is not clearly set?  Thank God, the difference IS clearly set for us in the Holy Scriptures, the living Word of God.

When Paul told Timothy that a time was coming when people would not listen to sound teaching, but would instead seek out affirmation of their own desires, he was talking about today.

Unfortunately, too often the teaching that the Church provides is a watered down, feel good message, not the truth.  The teaching is void of the distinction of right and wrong, good and evil, so as not to offend anyone.  This has led to morally gray areas within the Church that should be black and white.  Politically correct philosophies have infiltrated the Church, making true Paul’s prediction that “people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching.  They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.  They will reject the truth and chase after myths.”  The result is moral rot and decay; death.

The Church itself as the body of Christ, is supposed to be distinct and separate.  Therefore, exercising judgment and discernment is critical.  The more afraid Christians are to identify evil and wrongdoing, the more intertwined with the world we become.  Likewise, and even worse, the less we judge and discern against the Christian standard set for us by God, the more easily we are deceived by the evil one who is trying to steal our eternal promise away from us.

Let us never forget that we are in the midst of a great war and we serve our Holy King, the Lord Almighty.  We are His servants, commanded to choose right and good instead of evil and wrong, so we must be able to judge ourselves and our social environment in order to obey the Lord’s commands and help others to obey them as well.

Let us judge ourselves first, submitting our deepest secrets to the scrutiny of the Holy Spirit and allowing Him to deal with us.  Once we have been dealt with, and ONLY then, are we able to see clearly enough to help another.  This is the essence of “Judge Not.”

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” (Psalm 139:23-24)

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